The Baggage series kicked off at Cross Point Dickson today, and Nashville continued the series with the issues of bitterness and forgiveness. I had the privilege to attend both campuses today so I got another dose of Pete‘s opening message that I blogged about last week and also heard the much needed message about forgiveness.
Before I give you recap notes from Pete’s message in Nashville, I just have to say how excited and privileged I am to be a part of this community. Over the last couple of weeks our entire staff and countless volunteers have been working like crazy to prepare for this series. Here’s some things that have been going on:
- An entire new team of musicians have stepped up to lead worship for our Sunday night service in Nashville.
- Hundreds of volunteers stepped up to get involved in First Impressions, Kidz World, our parking team and beyond to fill the needs created from growing attendance at Dickson and the addition of a new service in Nashville.
- At both campuses group leaders emerged to create more Community Groups for people to get involved with.
I’m continually amazed at the amazing people who give so faithfully to what God is doing here. Thank you all!
Now, here’s some things to get you thinking…
Hebrews 12: 14-15
“Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
Pete opened today’s discussion likening bitterness to the bermuda grass that he battles in his yard. It takes root, it takes over, it grows deep.
Here are some key things he said today:
- Our baggage of bitterness is our ace of spades. It’s what we use in our lives to get what we want.
- Bitterness creeps into all your relationships.
- When you’ve been hurt there’s something inside of you that wants to pay the one who hurt you back. You want them to pay. You want them to hurt.
- To forgive that person means I have to swallow the debt.
- Forgiveness is never easy or cheap. Forgiveness means to let go of your right to hurt them back.
- Forgiveness is not excusing or condoning. It’s not reconciliation – that’s a whole other thing. Forgiveness is letting go.
- To not forgive will cost you your heart.
- If you don’t forgive, the joy will be choked out of your life and compassion choked out of your heart.
- The only power to forgive lies in the experience of being forgiven.
Whew! A lot to absorb and process, but so necessary.
I’m praying for you and for me that God will show us who we need to forgive and then give us the strength to do so.